All to often a negligent driver has no insurance. This may not prevent a person from bringing a claim. Many drivers will have what is known as coverage for uninsured drivers. A similar situation comes up when someone is injured by a person whose insurance is insufficient to cover the damage. In Illinois drivers are required to have at least $20,000 dollars in insurance coverage (with certain unusual exceptions). If a victim sustains more than the $20,000 they may have a claim against their own policy for damages exceeding $20,000.
The under-insurance claim is a claim against the victim's or the owner of the car in which the victim is riding's policy. The claim is governed by the terms of the policy, although Illinois law mandates minimum policy terms. In many situations the claim has a provision for arbitration or a similar process. Typically, each party picks an arbitrator. Then the two arbitrators pick a third arbitrator.
If you think the selected by the parties are neutral, think again. Illinois law allows the arbitrators to be biased. Either the driver or the passenger may make a claim. There is a case where an Illinois attorney actually served as an arbitrator on on a case where his clients, an insurer, was a party. He was allowed to serve as an arbitrator in another case involving the same insurer. The appellate court said this is acceptable. While we believe this is unreasonable, it is law in Illinois. Fortunately, the first two (biased) arbitrators get together and hire a third. The third arbitrator is supposed to be neutral, although it takes knowledge of the possible arbitrators to get a feel for who is pro-victim, who is pro-insurer, and who is fair.
At Ackerman Law Office we understand the arbitration process. James Ackerman has advocated to change the rule that allows insurance companies to hire their own attorneys as arbitrators. He hires arbitrators who are fair. He is willing to formally arbitrate the uninsured/under-insured claim if necessary. However, he will do what he can to settle it so his clients do not have to go through a process that can be unpleasant for them.
If you have an injury claim contact us at Ackerman Law office. We handle are so confident in our ability to win we handle these claims on a contingent fee. We offer free initial consultations. All of our clients get prompt action and personal attention. See what our clients have to say on our Testimonials page. Our blog is at Springfield Injury Lawyer.